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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

Blog Archive

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Last Minute Changes / News

We are now bumping along the bottom. Sunset from now until Christmas is at 3.52pm, give or take a minute or two, with light for walking until 4.20pm. The earliest sunset is from 8-17 December at 3.51pm (though the shortest day, of course, is the 21st).

Signs of spring in the bleak midwinter - see Nature Blog

2019 Overnights: Scotland (see below); Peak District/Heart of England/Brecon Beacons (see below).

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Scotland 2019.....Achnasheen

The 2019 annual SWC Scottish trip will be to Glencarron near the small village of Achnasheen in Wester Ross on the western edge of the Highlands about an hour from Inverness. It will run from Saturday 25 May to Saturday 1 June 2019.  For more information, please contact goepfertkarenATyahooDOTcom.

Friday, 3 May 2019

Weekends Away 2019 - Peak District/Heart of England/Brecon Beacons

IF the trains are running as they should (i.e. no bus replacements or long diversions), THEN I'd post the Long Weekends as follows:

[May Bank Holiday Weekend] Peak District --- Friday 3rd May SWC 267 Sheffield Circular, Saturday 4th May SWC 322 Grindleford Circular via Chatsworth House, Sunday 5th May SWC 319 Hathersage Circular via Stanage Edge, Higger Tor and Padley Gorge, Monday 6th May SWC 315 Hathersage Circular via Bretton Clough and Eyam or any other of the 'old' walks. I would need co-operation from other walk posters to swap dates. Note: currently the Hope Valley Line is on strike every Saturday w/o a bus replacement service (the cause: the threat of driver-only-operation, as it was/is on Southern), so the schedule may be altered if that doesn't change.

[19-21/07 or 4 weeks later] Heart of England --- Assume Friday 19 July SWC 323a Evesham to Pershore (start from Sedgeberrow), Saturday 20 July SWC 324 The Malvern Hills (Great Malvern Circular), Sunday 21 July SWC 324a The Malvern Hills (Colwall to Great Malvern). All three days are tough (albeit with shortcut options), but Saturday and Sunday can also be made even tougher with an extension each (seeing that we start early after staying over...).

[16-19/08 or 4 weeks later] The Brecon Beacons (Abergavenny or Crickhowell) --- Assume Friday 16 August to Monday 19 August: New Walks not yet finalised [Pandy to Llanvihangel Crucorney via Llanthony Priory and Cwmyoy, Abergavenny Circular via Y Fal/Sugarloaf], plus others starting from Llangynidr, Llangattock/Crickhowell or the 'old' Bwlch Circular. Why in August/September? A: Heather in Bloom on the Moors; B: walks won't be ready in time for May anyway...

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Wednesday Walk - Goring Circular (via Streatley Warren)

Length:  19.9 km (12.4 mi) [shorter walk possible, see webpage]
Ascent/Descent:  383m; Net Walking Time: ca. 4 ¼ hours
Toughness:  5 out of 10 
Take the 10.15 Cardiff Central train from Paddington (change Reading 10.40/10.51), arrives Goring & Streatley 11.05. The train from Reading is the 09.57 stopping service from Paddington to Didcot Parkway (Ealing B’way 10.05 etc.).
Return trains: 15.43, 16.13, 16.40, 16.44, 17.12, 17.40 …. (from 49 minutes journey time, if you change at Reading onto a fast train). Buy a Goring & Streatley return.

Leave Goring with a pretty vista over the Thames, before following the Ridgeway path up on to the Downs. Lunch is at the excellent and cosy Bell Inn. The route back ends with a steep climb and a lovely view over the Thames, before a steep descent, and re-crossing the Thames into Goring.
The posted (slightly longer) route goes via Streatley Warren with its sensitive wildlife, access to it is only possible from November to February.

Lunch: The Bell Inn in Aldworth [“The Gateway to the Downs”] (Grade II listed, family-owned for over 250 years, Real Ales only on the pump, accompanied by plain simple warm rolls, soup and traditional puddings heated in the Aga; 8.6 km/5.3 mi, food to 14.30). There is also The Four Points Inn a little off route in the same village.
Tea: The Bull Inn  and The Swan Inn in Streatley and plenty of options across the river in Goring.

For walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here. t=swc.17.a

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Sunday Walk – Capital Ring §6: Wimbledon Park to Richmond

Section 6 of the Capital Ring – Wimbledon Park to Richmond
Length: About 11½ km (7 miles). Toughness: 2/10

Take a District line tube to arrive at Wimbledon Park by 11:00 and meet in the booking hall. It's a 15-minute journey from Earl's Court, with tubes every five minutes. You could also take a train to Wimbledon and go back one stop on the tube. The Wimbledon stations are in TFL Zone 3.

At the end of the walk there are frequent trains, tubes and Overground from Richmond (Zone 4). London-bound trains are terminating at Clapham Junction on this line today, but you can change there for other services to Waterloo or Victoria.

On several Saturdays in 2017 DAC posted sections of the London Loop for SWC walkers, just one of several waymarked walking routes in the capital which seem ideal for Sunday walkers in winter: not too long with a short journey time, so no need for an early start or the prospect of finishing in the dark. As a trial, here's a section of the Capital Ring with a high proportion of green spaces (Wimbledon Park, Wimbledon Common, Richmond Park, Petersham Meadows) and not too much in the way of road links. It's well described and nicely presented on the Transport for London website.

For lunch you'll reach the Pembroke Lodge cafeteria in Richmond Park at around 1pm, but it's not much further into Richmond if you want to do the whole walk in one go. And if seven miles isn't enough, you could easily do an extra hour or so's walking along the Thames Path, either to Kew Bridge or (in the other direction, on the other bank: a street map would help) to Twickenham or Strawberry Hill.

As always, there will be no leader for this walk. You'll need to download the directions from this TfL Walking page.

Sunday Walk - Glorious Chilterns: Little Kimble to Saunderton

Length: 17.3 km (10.8 mi)
Ascent/Descent: 400/385m; Net Walking Time: 4 ½ hours
Toughness:  4/10                        

Take the 10.13 Aylesbury train from Marylebone (Wembley Stadium 10.22, Gerrards Cross 10.35), arrives Little Kimble 11.08.
Return trains from Saunderton are on xx.50. Just missed it? Take the xx.54 in the other direction and change at Princes Risborough…
Buy a Little Kimble return.

This is a little gem of a walk, showing all the characteristics of the Chiltern range of hills. In particular, there are lots of fine beech woods on the walk. The walk is not all wooded, however, and has some good open stretches and a number of fine views. Though the terrain is gently undulating most of the time, gradients are in general not taxing.
Note: there are many paths in the woods, more than on the OS maps, so taking a compass is recommended.

Lunch: The Pink & Lily in Parslow's Hillock (7.8 km/4.8 mi, last food orders 14.45), a favourite inn of the poet Rupert Brooke (1887-1915). This pub has gone through a welcome transition to a walker-friendly, yet nicely refurbished bright pub with an interesting good quality menu. The Plough at Cadsden  is an early option (famous for a recent British PM forgetting his small child there).
Tea: The Golden Cross, which usually has a fine selection of cakes and serves proper tea.

For summary, map, height profile, some photos, walk directions and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.10

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Saturday Walk - The South Downs, Alfriston Village, Cuckmere Haven & Seven Sisters Views: Glynde to Seaford

Length:  22.9 km (14.2 mi) [or 16.3 km/10.1 mi to Exceat and a bus to Seaford or Eastbourne]
Ascent/Descent:  403/397m
Net Walking Time: ca. 5 - 5 ½ hours (the last 20 mins or so are along the esplanade and roads in Seaford)
Toughness:  7 out of 10 
Take the 08.46 Ore train from Victoria (08.53 CJ, 09.03 EC), change Lewes (09.53/10.15 onto the Ore stopping service), arrives Glynde 10.21.
Return trains are on xx.25 and xx.53. 
Buy a Seaford return (this should be accepted for the Lewes to Glynde leg).
For the short walk to Exceat, the 09.46 train would be sufficient.

Everyone's favourite walk in Book 1 apparently, as per the webpage, but only rarely posted…
It starts with a South Downs Ridge  walk. Lunch is in the picturesque village of Alfriston. After lunch there is Cuckmere Haven (a pretty river valley), and a coastal cliff walk  into Seaford.
Near the start, the route goes through Firle Park and then follows the South Downs Way for much of the day, with marvellous views across the lush valleys to the north and down to the sea. There are three lovely villages to enjoy during the course of the day, all with open churches: West Firle, West Dean, and (the suggested lunch stop) the old smuggling village of Alfriston, which likes to call its church a cathedral. From Alfriston the route follows the riverbank through the Cuckmere Valley and through Friston Forest down to Exceat (pronounced Ex-Seat), an extinct village on the edge of the Seven Sisters Country Park, where there is a Visitors’ Centre and a tea room and a pub and a bus stop.
The Vanguard Way then leads through the Seaford Head Nature Reserve – hoopoe, bluethroat and wryneck have been seen here – to the beach at Cuckmere Haven. This is a good place to enjoy a front-stalls view of the white cliffs of the Seven Sisters. You follow the coastal path to Seaford, a seaside town with a long esplanade and reconstructed shingle beach.

Lunch: The George Inn, The Star Inn, Ye Olde Smugglers Inn, Wingrove House, Chestnuts of Alfriston Tea Rooms in Alfriston (11.3 km/7.0 mi). Or The Plough & Harrow  in Litlington (13.4 km/8.5 mi, food to 17.00).
Tea: The Cuckmere Inn and The Saltmarsh Farmhouse in Exceat (16.3km/10.1 mi) plus plenty of options in Seaford, plus a café in Lewes Station when changing trains.
For walk directions, map, height profile, some photos, a video and gpx/kml files click here. T=1.31